Configuration recommendations for Veritas Cluster Server Heartbeat communication within Storage Foundation for Windows with High Availability (SFW-HA)

Article:TECH84157  |  Created: 2008-01-22  |  Updated: 2013-09-13  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution




Configuration recommendations for Veritas Cluster Server Heartbeat communication within Storage Foundation for Windows with High Availability (SFW-HA)




Veritas Cluster Server (VCS) utilizes both Public and Private Network connections for communication between clustered nodes and applications available to the public.

Public Network Links are utilized for access to clustered applications.

Private Network Links are used for heartbeat communication, sharing status and update information between clustered nodes. These private links are used for cluster communication only. No other application or resource should be configured to share these links, as this may interfere with cluster communication, causing issues with cluster functionality.

The cluster's Low Latency Transfer (LLT) protocol uses Heartbeat communication to transmit cluster status and configuration information between nodes, which in turns allows the Global Atomic Broadcast (GAB) component of the cluster to send and receive these updates among all cluster nodes. This communication is vital to the well being of the cluster. If at any time an active cluster node is unable to communicate with the other passive nodes, this may cause minor to severe issues with cluster behavior and performance, and may impede access to clustered applications.


Recommended Veritas Cluster Heartbeat Configurations:

Use the following recommended configuration to setup  Veritas Cluster Server (VCS) Heartbeat communication to ensure that there is no single point of failure and that this private communication will function optimally: 


·     Do not assign IP addresses to private heartbeats network adapters. 
·     Make sure all adapters and switch ports are set to Auto-negotiate or are set to the same communication speed settings. 
·     All private heartbeats should be connected via a HUB or Switch. It is suggested to use only one (1) HUB / Switch per Heartbeat connection in order to prevent any single point of failure.  
·     Cross-linked cables can be used for heartbeat purposes; however, Symantec recommends that HUBs / Switches be used to ensure reliable connection.
·     Ensure that the same driver revision is used across all NICs.
·     Ensure that the same make and model of NICs are used to promote consistency on the network.
·     As Heartbeat connections should each have their own NIC and HUB / Switch for their private network links; likewise, the Public Network connection should have its own NIC and HUB / Switch. It is suggested that the same NIC make/model and NIC driver be used for the Public Network as are used for the private Heartbeat connection. 
·     If using 3 or more network adapters, set at least 2 of them as private Heartbeat adapters in any manual configuration, or when using the Veritas Cluster Configuration Wizard. If required, set the 3rd as a 'lowpri' Heartbeat Adapter (i.e. over the public link) in case both private heartbeats fail. This will maintain cluster communication over the public network (as a low priority) until the private heartbeat links can be restored.

Important Notice:

·     Network Routers are not supported for private heartbeat network, nor are any other Layer 3 Protocol devices.
·    NIC Teaming is NOT supported on the Private Network Heartbeat links; NIC Teaming can be implemented on the Public Network Adapters ONLY (and is supported by Symantec Enterprise Support).

While this is not to say NIC Teaming has never been configured within a clustered environment for Heartbeat communication, Symantec Enterprise Support DOES NOT test, document, support, or assist in the configuration of NIC Teaming for Heartbeat communication. Should an issue arise from attempts to use NIC teaming for Heartbeat communication on the Private Network, it is required to remove the teamed NICs and attempt to configure the Private Network Links using a single NIC prior to contact Symantec Enterprise Support for assistance.

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